Nintendo just announced a new $350 Switch with a fancy new screen, but you probably don't need it

Nintendo just announced a new $350 Switch with a fancy new screen, but you probably don't need it
The 2021 Nintendo Switch "OLED Model" was announced on July 6, 2021. It's scheduled to launch on October 8 for $350. Nintendo
  • Nintendo just announced a new, more expensive, slightly upgraded Nintendo Switch model.
  • Whether or not you already own a Switch, there aren't a lot of good reasons to get this one.
  • Its main feature is a larger, higher-quality screen. It's otherwise nearly identical to existing models.

After years of speculation about a more powerful, upgraded Nintendo Switch model, Nintendo announced the "Nintendo Switch OLED Model" on Tuesday morning.

It's got a bigger screen from previous models that uses OLED display technology, and it's got a higher price tag to match: $350 for the new OLED model compared to $300 for the original Nintendo Switch.

Beyond the bigger, better screen, the "new" model is almost identical to the original Nintendo Switch that launched in March 2017.

It runs games at the same resolution and frame speed because it's powered by the same processor and has the same amount of RAM that's in the other Switch models. The same Joy-Con controllers that attach to the original Switch attach to this new model, and the new Dock even functions as a replacement for the original.

There are a few other subtle physical changes: a larger rear kickstand, a slight overall increase in weight, and a few design changes to the Dock.


Some Nintendo fans balked at the news.

"Finally, a Nintendo Switch that's basically the same as the old Nintendo Switch," one said. "New Nintendo Switch upgrade is a lot worse than expected. Zero performance upgrades?" said another.

That reaction is due at least in part to persistent rumors that the new Nintendo Switch model would have the ability to produce games at a 4K resolution. Nintendo is notoriously low-tech compared to its competitors in the console gaming market, like Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X, and the Switch isn't capable of producing now industry-standard 4K visuals.

With the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, that isn't changing - it's still only capable of producing 1080p resolution games at best.

Since games will run the same, the only reason to upgrade to this new model is if you're a dedicated handheld gamer - and even then, there are still plenty of strong arguments for buying the $200 Nintendo Switch Lite instead. It's nearly half the price, and built specifically for handheld gaming!


Unfortunately, waiting for a price cut on the now over four-year-old original Nintendo Switch is a fool's errand. When asked if there will be a price drop for the original Switch, which still costs the same $300 it did in April 2017, a Nintendo representative said, "No. The price of the Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch systems remains the same."

The representative added that "consumers can pick the model that best fits the lifestyle and gaming experience they desire, and that fits within their budget. In the US, the Nintendo Switch Lite system is the lowest-priced model at $199.99, followed by the Nintendo Switch system at $299.99, and now we have Nintendo Switch system (OLED model) at $349.99."

But there's good news: If you already own a Nintendo Switch, you almost certainly don't need this new model. And if you don't own a Nintendo Switch, you probably don't need this new model either.

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